Tony Elliott feels no one in his running backs’ room is going to transfer. When freshman Demarkcus Bowman and Kobe Pryor make their way to campus this summer, it will mean Clemson will have seven running backs on its roster.
Travis Etienne, Lyn-J Dixon, Chez Mellusi, Michel Dukes and Darien Rencher competed at running back this spring for the Tigers.
“As of right now, I don’t foresee it,” Elliott said recently when asked if he thought any of his running backs would transfer. “I think we kind of got through that window where there might have been some. I think all of those guys … and I told them, ‘Look the biggest thing is I can’t tell you what to do, but I know if you were my son, I would tell you to stick it out and fight it out, especially you younger guys early in your career. Just see what happens because there are lessons to be learned in competing.”
Clemson’s offensive coordinator and running backs coach said he has been very up front and honest with his running backs when he was recruiting them to Clemson.
“There are very high expectations for these freshmen, and I have told them they better come in ready to play,” Elliott said. “If I am doing my job as a coach … what I tell these guys in recruiting is ‘I should have guys that are ready to play and above young guys coming in,’ and then bring the young guys along.”
With Etienne back for his senior years, as well as Rencher, players have expressed their concerns to Elliott when it comes to reps and touches. So, Elliott told them an analogy head coach Dabo Swinney used.
“Whenever you go to the fish bond to go feed the fish, you got pellets, but there are not enough pellets to feed every fish in the pond. You drop the pellets and whoever gets to the top gets it,” Elliott said. “I told the guys not to worry about how many reps, just worry about the quality of your reps. ‘We have proven over the years we are going to play four or five guys and we will try to get you opportunities. Just go compete, and you never know. You never know, you are one snap away. The biggest thing for me is to have them ready to play, but to get more production out of them on special teams, too. I think they can really, really make an impact.”
Clemson fans now is the time to support the local businesses.
A great gift for any Tiger fan. Just one of many great items available from Clemson Variety & Frame